Northern League: Callen missing but two return as Sunderland RCA look to keep up impressive run

Ryhope CW (red) battle against Sunderland RCA in Monday's hard-fought 1-1 draw
Ryhope CW (red) battle against Sunderland RCA in Monday's hard-fought 1-1 draw
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Sunderland RCA will miss key striker Stephen Callen for tomorrow’s home First Division clash with West Allotment Celtic at Meadow Park.

Callen netted and was a lively presence throughout last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Morpeth Town, but he is on holiday and will miss out against Allotment.

Danni Lay and Liam McBride, though, come back into the reckoning after their holidays.

RCA, with three wins and two draws from their first six games, have only one reported injury doubt – Ross McNab hit by foot injury, and he will face a late fitness test along with James Armstrong.

Boss Martin Swales is pleased with a four-game unbeaten run which continued with Monday’s derby draw at Ryhope CW. He said: “We are playing really well, with some attractive football, but we need to start taking more of the chances we create.”

West Allotment have had a difficult start to the season, with four away games in row, but their impressive win against Seaham Red Star raised a few eyebrows and proved that they are a competitive team.

Seaham Red Star travel to West Auckland and expect the return of defenders Dan Kirkup and Kieran Galbraith, plus midfielder Lee Hetherington.

Summer signing Luke Proctor is unavailable while there will be late fitness tests on Nicky Kane and David Paul.

Boss Mark Collingwood could give a start to promising youngster Liam Whitworth, who has been promoted from the Reserves.

Chester-le-Street have plenty of absences due to injuries and holidays, with 12 players missing for the home clash with Newton Aycliffe.

They also picked up a few knocks in Tuesday’s morale-boosting first league win of the season at Dunston UTS. The Cestrians are looking to make two new signings.

Ashington entertain Gary Pearson’s Ryhope CW at Woodhorn Lane and skipper Craig Scott is ruled out, but Reece Farrell returns to the squad. Manager Steve Harmison will await a late fitness on Ryan Bell.

Ryhope will look to build on encouraging displays in the last two games, draws at Shildon and against Sunderland RCA.

South Shields entertain Whitley Bay at Mariners Park and have doubts over Gavin Cogdon and David Foley, while Carl Finnigan could make his home debut after scoring on his first competitive appearance, at Chester-le-Street, last Saturday.

He missed the win at Penrith on Monday with food poisoning, but should return this weekend. Ex-Sunderland defender Ben Clark could also make his home debut after playing in two away games.

Stephen Ramsey will again miss out with injury and Ben Riding is away on honeymoon.

Shields hope for a crowd in excess of 1,000 after 916 watched them beat Seaham Red Star last Tuesday. Tomorrow is a quick rematch against Bay, who scored a stoppage-time equaliser to snatch a 3-3 draw last month.

Unbeaten Bay look set to miss Nicky Allen, who suffered a twisted ankle in last weekend’s derby against North Shields and is likely to be out for the next couple of games.

Callum Munro is unavailable, but Kyle Fryatt and Callum Patton are due back from holiday, while defender Ryan Keltie, who has missed two games, should return.

Jarrow Roofing are at home to Penrith at Boldon in one of five national games being played in support of Kick It Out, the anti-racism and discrimination charity.

Corey Barnes, unfortunately, is looking at six months on the treatment table, after his achilles break last Saturday. With Paul Johnson leaving, the club are actively looking to appoint a new first-team coach.

North Shields travel down to Guisborough, who are without suspended strikers Thibault Charmey and Peter Bulmer.

They are also missing defender Paul Roddam and midfielder Jordan Lee, who are both injured, but strikers Connor Smith and Kyran Clark and defender Jonny Helm return.

In Division Two, Durham City look to end their run of two games without a goal when they make a first ever visit to newcomers Blyth Town.

Easington Colliery, in fourth place, face a tough test at home to Thornaby, who are three points behind in sixth place, with a game in hand.

Willington, who fought well to deservedly win at Tow Law on Monday, entertain third-top Whickham at Hall Lane.

Tow Law look to bounce back with victory away to bottom club Brandon United, while Esh Winning will leapfrog third-bottom hosts XCrook Town if they make it two wins on the trot at the Millfield Ground.

Hebburn Town, away to Alnwick, miss the holidaying Chris Smith and Dan Chambers, but Callum Smith should be available and keeper Steve Hubery returns to the squad.

Chris Feasey and Dan Reeves, though, are facing lengthy lay-offs with bad knee injuries but both are receiving treatment.